All right, we are completely offline and would like to listen to another lockdown songs? There are four albums in our review, of which three are downright chamber minimalism. Duets. Heartbreaking spirituals and ironic dance Schnittke. Russian Israelis and Russian Americans. And everything is so spicy and inventive!
Boris Kozlov, David Kikoski «Sure Thing»
Duet of the coolest American double bass player Boris Kozlov (a permanent member of Mingus big band and Mingus “deputy”, respectively) and lyrical-romantic-virtuoso pianist Dave Kikoski. Beautiful chamber work. Simple and tasteful. No, not very simple – elegant and subtle. But it is not difficult for perception. Dialogue of tools. Acoustic lace. Shine!
Archie Shepp & Jason Moran «Let My People Go»
On the same duet theme: the saxophonist and live classic Archie Shepp and the pianist Jason Moran, have also long been a major figure. Two very peculiar dudes, such tough quasi-avant-gardists. Here – exactly what is “quasi”. They play folk-soul, starting, in fact, with “Go Down, Moses” and “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child”.
Falkor Ensemble “A Drop of Mercy” EP
Magnificent Israeli quartet, exactly the same lockdown songs. The saxophonist is sometimes aggressive, sometimes tough as sandpaper, sometimes an intoxicated lyricist, sometimes winding triplet turntables with wild speed. Saxon and guitar timbres, by the way, are amazingly combined, they really fuse … haute cuisine – the haute cuisine of jazz. For a wide audience – that’s it. Maybe there is some Israeli sensuality, but nothing more. Nothing exaggeratedly Jewish. Guitarist-leader Evgeny Shavelzon is an excellent virtuoso with his own sense of the time and atmosphere of jazz.
Daniel Hope, Alexey Botvinov. «Schnittke: Works for Violin and Piano»
Lyrical Schnittke, gentle Schnittke… how is that? This happens? Is this a lockdown song? Sure! Star violinist Daniel Hope recorded Schnittke’s chamber music in a company with Ukrainian pianist Alexei Botvinov (by the way, the release was accompanied by several digital singles recorded with accordion player Aydar Gainullin – also an extremely piquant and curious thing).
For Hope, this is not an easy job. He is a true Schnittke fan. Moreover, he even knew the composer personally: he showed up without an invitation to his German house … and made friends.
“The most important thing for me is the compositions of Alfred Schnittke, with whom I spent a lot of time on stage and in the studio. This composer is very close to me, I was lucky to know him. In Hamburg in the early 90s, we met and talked more than once, and later in London, at the Royal Academy of Music, I held a big festival for his 60th anniversary: we played 22 works by Schnittke, including the First Symphony! “
Hope presented an unknown, “unearthed” composition by Schnittke: “I got a call from the publishing house Sikorski at the request of Irina Schnittke: they found his early Violin Sonata and offered to record it. Which I did”.
Now here is a collection of Schnittke miniatures. A kind of serene “Suite in the Old Style”. Playful Polka from Gogol Suite. Grandiose Second Sonata for Violin and Piano. And madrigal in memory of Oleg Kagan for solo violin performed by Daniel Hope. There is also a real hit – the well-known melody from the film “Agony” by Elem Klimov.